WASHINGTON — Nearly a thousand protestors, sponsored by one hundred public advocacy groups, marched on the Capitol in Washington, D.C. to rally against the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance sweeps on Saturday.
“Why are we here?” former NSA executive and whistleblower Thomas Drake asked the gathered crowd. “We’re against mass surveillance!”
Drake, who was prosecuted by the Department of Justice under the Espionage Act for leaking unclassified information to a Baltimore Sun reporter, declared that the government “tried to bankrupt me, silence me and imprison me,” and that he was fortunate not to end up in prison.
“We cannot let this happen to future whistleblowers,” he said, adding that reform efforts must include whistleblower protection and not rely on an “NSA honor system” that was dependent on the agency admitting to rights violations.
“The NSA does not have an honorable track record of telling the truth when tracking us without our consent,” he said.
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